The Advanced Guide to Regenerative Cell Therapy – It’s Not as Difficult as You Think!October 30, 2018
Do you know when affected by diseases, our bodies have the innate response to heal and defend? Just think if it was possible to harness the power of the body to heal and then accelerate it in a clinically relevant way? What if we could help the body heal in a better way?
But the question is how? By now you must be thinking that I am going to reveal something big and yes, you are right. Have you heard about regenerative cell therapy?
The promising field of regenerative medicine is working to restore the structure and function of the damaged tissues and organs. It is also working to build solutions for organs that become permanently damaged. The goal of this medicine is to find a method to cure previously untreatable injuries and diseases. Regenerative medicine is designed to provide the benefits you seek without surgery. It is an excellent option for sports injuries, sprains, and joint damage.
This is the point where I will give a brief on the history of this therapy. Regenerative cell therapy is not a newbie in the medical field. The concept of regenerative medicine can be traced back in the 20th century.
Have you heard the story of Prometheus? According to the legends, his liver was eaten by an eagle during the day and it completely regenerated itself overnight.
The regeneration of body parts is a common phenomenon in nature; a salamander can regenerate a separated limb in some days. Humans also have this ability, but they lose it over the years: a severed fingertip can regenerate until 11 years of age.
- Generation and regeneration as a solution to disease are far from being a new idea. Philosophers, naturalists, and scientists were intrigued by the marvels of regeneration observed in nature.
- The artificial generation of tissues, organs, or even more complex, living organisms was throughout the history of mankind, a myth and dream. In the past few decades, this thought became feasible and has been recently introduced in clinical medicine.
- Historically, the term “regenerative therapy” was founded for the first time in a 1992 paper by Leland Kaiser, who listed the technologies which would impact the future of hospitals.
- The term “regenerative medicine” is considered to be coined by William Haseltine during a 1999 conference at Lake Como, in the attempt to describe an emerging field, which will blend knowledge deriving from different subjects, such as: tissue engineering, cell transplantation, stem cell biology, biomechanics prosthetics, nanotechnology, and biochemistry.
- Regenerative Medicine is a term for the field in Biomedicine that deals with the transformation of these fundamental ideas into practical approaches. Several aspects of generating new tissues and organs out of small pieces of living units are now scientifically solved.
How does it work?
There are substantially three different approaches to pursue the objective of regenerative medicine:
- Cell-based therapy
- Use of biological or synthetic materials to lead repair processes and cell growth
- Implantation of scaffolds seeded with cells
Regenerative cell-based therapy is one of the most promising future techniques in the medical field for the repair of damaged or destroyed tissues. The diseases which cell therapy can target are varied: Hormonal dysfunction, such as diabetes, and growth hormone deficiency; neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s; and cardiovascular lesions, such as myocardial infarction, peripheral vascular ischaemia; as well as lesions in the cornea, skeletal muscle, skin, joints, and bones.
Let’s understand the cell-based therapy in detail:
Let’s start with stem cells.
A stem cell is a cell with the unique strength to develop into specialized cell types in the body.
Stem cells provide new cells for the body as it grows, and replace specialized cells that are damaged. They have two properties that enable them to do this:
- They can divide over and over to construct new cells.
- As they divide, they can transform into the other types of cell that make the body.
Cell therapy is based on the injection of cells obtained by different methods.
Adult primary cells are taken from the patient and implanted after expansion in vitro. Biopsied tissues contain adult stem cells to expand, differentiate into a specific type and implant. Adult skin cells may be reprogrammed through specific transcription factors in order to obtain induced pluripotent stem cells.
Embryonic stem cells are collected from the inner cell mass of a blastocyst.
The first recipient of these cells was a young man, who had a spinal cord injury in a car accident. He received the injection of oligodendrocytes obtained from embryonic stem cells.
Cells used in regenerative therapy hold a lot of advantages. Some of them are:
- No tissue rejection
- Reduced inflammatory response
- Unlimited ability to self-renew
- Potential to differentiate into many specialized cells
- Great ability to proliferate without feeder cells
- Not tumorigenic
- No ethical problems
- The possibility of preservation as lifelong autologous stem cells together with other stem cells
Progress in stem cell therapy has helped to treat the conditions like heart failure, diabetes, and degenerative nerve, bone, and joint conditions.
The three main steps involved in this procedure are:
- Fat Harvesting: Treatment begins with a small volume of fat being collected with the intention of harvesting stem cells. Once the anesthetic has taken effect, the doctor will make a minimum of 2 small incisions, each incision being about the size of a pencil tip. He will remove the necessary quantity of fat with a suction device.
- Cell Processing: Immediately after the fat harvesting step, the stem cells will be isolated from the extracted fat tissue. The cells are not changed or manipulated in any way; they are just separated from the adipose and prepared for prompt and safe reintroduction into the body using a closed, sterile, and a fully automated cell processing system.
- Stem Cell Delivery: After a period of rest, the adult stem cells are delivered by direct injection, depending on the individualized treatment plan.
By now you must have realized that regenerative stem cell therapy really gets you riddance from the surgeries that the doctors suggest for some diseases.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the benefits that regenerative cell therapy holds over surgical methods.
- There is a minimal pain: When your own stem cells are used, patients might feel achy or sore at the harvesting location but this pain is far less than one would experience with a traditional surgical procedure.
- Less recovery time: The recovery time is MUCH shorter depending on the type of injury and it varies from person to person. Patients can walk out of the hospital after the procedure and can either return to work right away or within a couple of days.
- There is no risk of rejection: As the stem cells are harvested from your own body, there are minimal chances of having rejection.
- Natural components used: It uses natural components of your body tissues, thus reducing the risk of adverse reactions or infection.
- Degenerative conditions treated: Certain degenerative conditions and injuries which were previously treated only by surgery may now show significant improvement with regenerative cell therapy, delaying or altogether avoiding the need for surgery. This is particularly beneficial for the aged and those with health conditions where surgery is not recommended.
- Enduring effects: The effects of treatment are long-lasting and may be repeated, if necessary.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could grow a new hand from your own stem cells? Or maybe replace a few damaged cells with new, healthy ones? Or, better yet, get a weak heart to repair by itself?
All this can be possible by the regenerative cell therapy in future. It is a cutting-edge field that attempts to treat diseases and injuries by finding innovative ways to replace, regenerate and rejuvenate various parts of the human body.
The next wave of regenerative medicine research is tackling enormous health care issues: AIDS, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, blood cancer, blindness — the list goes on. Despite the complexity of the investigative issues, regenerative medicine, which incorporates stem cell research and tissue engineering, has the potential to positively affect many clinical areas.
“I went through two surgeries on my knees and still had constant pain. I just finished my regenerative medicine treatment 2 months ago and now I have zero pain. I can’t say enough good things about the procedure.” says Tracey. Tracey benefitted substantially with the regenerative therapy she took at Regen America.
If your doctor has suggested that invasive surgery is the best option for you after you’ve tried everything to eliminate the pain and immobility of your condition without success, then Regen America is the place to visit. We serve the Southeastern US region and provide comprehensive regenerative cell therapy treatments in various ailments like knee pain, joint pain, shoulder pain, elbow pain, sciatic nerve pain, arthritis in the knee, and much more.